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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 1941

Rail Infrastructure

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (15:06): My question is addressed to the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Does the minister now acknowledge that the upgrade to The Tonsley Park rail line is for passenger rail, not freight, as he told radio Adelaide FIVEaa on 24 October?

Does the fact that it is passenger rail and not freight rail have an impact on whether the federal government will fund it?

An honourable member: Good question!

Mr BRIGGS (MayoAssistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (15:07): I thank the member for Grayndler for his question. It is a good question. We are committed to being the infrastructure government, led by the infrastructure Prime Minister. We will spend many billions of dollars improving productivity, particularly in my home state of South Australia, which has one of the worst economies in Australia. It has had the despicable combination of 12 years of a very bad state government under Labor and six years of a very bad federal government under Labor.

Mr Albanese: Speaker—

Mr BRIGGS: Audition No. 5, Anthony! How many Managers of Opposition Business are there?

Mr Albanese: Speaker, I raise a point of order on relevance: to help the assistant minister—

The SPEAKER: I think that would be out of order, thank you.

Mr Albanese: I would table the transcript of his interview. It is his words.

The SPEAKER: The honourable member will resume his seat.

An opposition member: He said yes!

The SPEAKER: I am sorry, Member, but I heard a no.

An opposition member: He said yes!

The SPEAKER: I am sorry but the Leader of the House said no.

Mr BRIGGS: I was overruled. Burkey, that is what you are meant to do when he gets up every time: overrule him. You are the leader, mate. Take responsibility.

The SPEAKER: The assistant minister will resume his seat.

Mr Albanese: Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I know about disputes in South Australia between the member for Mayo and the member for Sturt, but the member for Mayo had the call and was at the dispatch box and agreed that his words could be tabled.

The SPEAKER: In this case the Leader of the House has the obligation to give leave or not give leave. I call the honourable the assistant minister. Good try.

Mr BRIGGS: It was nice to hear from the member for Chifley arguing against the WestConnex proposal in Sydney today—extraordinary! What I can say is that the coalition at the election were very clear about our policy, and the people chose us.